Atletico Madrid give disillusioned West Ham fans hope over stadium

General view of the West Ham emblem on the side of the stadium before the match
	hammersos

A large section of West Ham United fans are unhappy with how the club's heralded move to the Olympic Stadium has panned out.

The Hammers' move to Stratford from their beloved Upton Park has been beset by problems from the start.

From in-fighting among the club's fans to segregation issues, violent scenes between home and away supporters and a general dissatisfaction with the atmosphere and feel of a ground many refer to as 'soulless', it has left a bitter taste in what was supposed to be a memorable and historic campaign.

Ahead of the stadium move, Hammers fans were promised a genuine retractable seating solution in communications from the club.

A half empty London Stadium look on as Southampton's James Ward-Prowse scores their third goalA half empty London Stadium watch on during a defeat to Southampton earlier this season

In reality they have been left with a temporary lower tier built on a complex scaffolding which will reportedly take weeks to deconstruct and reconstruct each season at a cost of £8 million - some £7.7m more than the original estimate.

The distance from the stands to the pitch is a major bone of contention for many fans with the bowl shape of the venue the biggest problem as the stadium was not built with football in mind.

Match stewards attempt to make West Ham United fans sit downMatch stewards attempt to make West Ham United fans sit down

Having signed a 99-year lease many supporters are disillusioned at the prospect of a long-term future at the ground in it's current state.

But there could be a glimmer of hope for the Hammers from Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

That's because Atleti have spent the last few years converting the Estadio Olímpico de Madrid into a stunning state-of-the-art 70,000 seater stadium which the La Liga side will move to next year.

The new ground, which will be called Wanda Metropolitano, is on the site of the athletics stadium called La Peineta, which was opened in 1994 and has since formed part of three unsuccessful bids for Madrid to host the Olympic Games.

Like West Ham's move to Stratford - which faced legal challenges from Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient and courted controversy the cost to the taxpayer - Atletico's project has been hit by various setbacks over the years, including planning problems around a project to build 30 storey residential towers on the Calderon site, and debates with local authorities about the provision of transport links to the new ground.

But according to the club's website, their new home - which lights up like Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena - is "designed to meet the highest standards of comfort, security and visibility" as shown in the official video below.

West Ham fans can only hope there is a similar solution for the London Stadium at some point down the line.

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